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Good As Gone
Douglas Corleone
Timothy Miller

Ready Player One

Ready Player One - Ernest Cline I just finished this amazing story that will have broad appeal for a wide variety of readers. It is a dystopia. Wade Watts lives in a slum called the Stacks outside of Oklahoma City. The Stacks are piles of mobile homes, RVs, and other such vehicles that house those too poor to live anywhere else. Wade is an orphan who is theoretically cared for by his aunt who care manifests itself in taking his food vouchers and having her boyfriend of the moment take anything else of value that he might have. While Wade's real life is bleak and hopeless, his online life in the OASIS is something very different. The founder of the OASIS, which is a very souped up version of Second Life, died and left a contest in place. The winner will get his whole multi-billion dollar estate and control of the OASIS too. Everyone spends most of their available time in OASIS. That is where they go to school, and work, and spend their leisure time too.Wade immediately begins searching for the treasure. To find it he has to become an expert on the founder - James Donovan Halliday - and has to become an expert on all the things Halliday loved. Halliday was a geek who loved science fiction authors (I have actually read quite a number of them), 1980s movies (I have heard of them but not seen them), and all sorts of video-games (which are totally a mystery to me). Cline lards the book with all sorts of 1980s pop culture details. It made me want to check out some of the videos, games, and stories that he mentions. Those who are hunting for the prize must collect three keys. The book is divided into three parts. Each of them revolves around the hunt for one of the keys.It is an adventure novel. Wade isn't hunting alone. He also has some online friends on the hunt too. Aech is his best friend. Although they have never met in real life, they spend a lot of time together learning about the 80s and playing lots of those classic video games. Another friend is Art3mis. She is a popular gunter which comes from contracting egg hunter. Wade, who is known in OASIS as Parzival, has been following her blog and has developed a massive crush on her. There are also two other hunters who are of importance in the story - Daito and Shoto. While the five are rivals, they are still friendly. It is a romance. Parzival falls in love with Art3mis. He has gotten to know her online. She doesn't believe that he could love the real her. She wants to concentrate on winning the prize. She wants to use the money to feed the hungry. She tries to discourage all of Parzival's attempts to get to know her. But the real rivals to their search are the sixers who are employees of IOI, a megacorporation that wants to win the contest to take over OASIS and change the parameters. There plan to institute a fee structure would price most people out of it. The leader of the sixers is Sorrento. IOI is willing to go to great lengths to win the contest. After all, the winner will have great power and wealth. In fact, they are willing to resort to murder. A good part of the story has to do with the way Wade manages to stay one step ahead of IOI in the real world while pursuing his search for the keys in OASIS.This was a gripping adventure, a celebration for geeks everywhere, and a great romance too. I recommend it to readers of any of those genres. I can't wait to see the movie!